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Be a Memoir Professional FAQ

Q. I want to be a Memoir Professional, but I am concerned about how much could I earn?

A. How much you could earn will depend entirely on how much outreach you do, how effective it is, how good you are at retaining students and converting prospects into coaching/editing/ghostwriting clients and workshoppers. For some, this is the fun part, and for others, this is difficult.

Your earning power will depend on your ambition, your skills, your drive, your focus. While some localities may be more conducive to higher earnings, generally with the variety of memoir services you will be prepared to offer with the guidance of the Memoir Professional Package, you can overcome the limitations of a particular locality.

For many who want to be a Memoir Professional, the workshop is the cornerstone of their memoir work so I will proceed with the workshop model as a way of helping you to estimate your income. Start by identifying local and regional presentation venues (senior centers, clubs, book stores or cultural groups). How many of them lie within a reasonable driving distance for you to travel to them? Does this seem enough? (These are the same venues where you also ought to present a speaking program if you are interested in coaching, editing and ghostwriting.)

Look through the calendar of events in area arts / culture and community news magazines and newspapers. (These are the “freebies” you will find in libraries, bookstores, boutiques, etc.) They list workshops, lectures, and activities being offered in your area. (These are the places where you can also offer memoir workshops and programs.) Read the listings with the eyes of someone who wants to be a Memoir Professional and is looking for viable venues.

Select those venues whose workshop fees are feasible for you. (Centers that offer nearly-free programs may be attractive while you’re gaining experience, but they will not support your work in the long run. (The most successful Memoir Professionals do not undervalue their work with low fees!)

Call venue directors to assess their interest in having you present a memoir-writing workshop.

Here are two “how to be a Memoir Professional” blog articles: how to assess your income and how to launch yourself successfully.

I expected the Memoir Professional Package to be full of information—but not this full. You guys know what you are talking about. It felt like I was in good hands to launch myself as a Memoir Professional under your guidance. I feel confident now. It’s been good.

—Lynda McDaniels, Memoirs for Life, Miami, Florida

Q. Is a Memoir Professional Package appropriate if I do not need to earn income?

A. We have had many people buy the program without having much need for it to provide income—either because they are on a pension or because the are working elsewhere.

You have much to contribute to your community and whether and how much you charge or do not charge is up to you. There are many ways to assess worth that does not include money. But… for those who need to earn income: that’s fine too. We have a variety of people who want to be a memoir professional

Whether you are pushing for income or not, you need to fill your classes. The Memoir Professional Package  will help you to attract the right clientele for you.

Q. Do I have to use the text Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories?

A. This a book that will organize and facilitate your class instruction. You will be able to refer to it to make a point and your students will be able to review material easily when they get home. With these benefits, why would you not center your workshops on it?

Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories will also be an attractive source of complementary income for you as it simplifies and enhances your task of teaching the best lifewriting workshops in your community. You receive a commission of up to 50%. Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories will also inform your editing and coaching. Here’s an article on offering back-of-the-room sales successfully.

Interestingly, university teachers who do workshops have no problem assigning texts—they have done so every September and January for years. They know that assigned texts facilitate the work for teachers and for students.

Q. Once I buy the materials to be a Memoir Professional, can I say I teach the Turning Memories Into Memoirs workshop?

A. We ask that you say you teach using Memoir Network Memoir materials or method, but not say you teach THE Memoir Network Memoir workshop. We do not have a certification process at this time—although we did have one for years. Only certified teachers can say teach THE Memoir Network Memoir workshop.

I took online classes from Denis a few years back and then began teaching The Turning Memories into Memoirs classes to older people in Florida. It has been an outstanding experience.

— Cindy Davis, Hollywood, FL
Cindy Davis Memoirs

The Memoir Network

We can also launch you as a coach, editor and/or ghostwriter. If you want to help people to write their memoirs, but you do not want to buy the full package, you can buy the following materials individually by title:

5 Rules for a More Profitable Memoir-Writing Business

Recently, while thinking about how to help Memoir Network Professionals to grow their businesses, I was jotting down some ideas about running a profitable memoir-writing business–the what-do-I-know-now-that-I-wish-I-had-known-then sort of stuff. Here are the first five I came up with to help jumpstart my (and your) endeavor and keep it going profitably year after year.

1. Create business goals.


6 Steps to Follow Through with Your Prospects and Clients

After you have garnered the names and contact information, it is important to commit to follow through with your prospects and clients. You need to call, email, or write a card to the prospects to remind your contacts of who you are and how you can be of service to them in resolving their problem.

Best Follow Through with Your Prospects and Clients


Memoir Business Strategies—Implementing Vision and Ideas into a Plan

Do you have a business strategy plan? Everyone who starts a business is a visionary of sorts. How else would we be able to face the daunting challenge of creating something out of nothing? Not everyone succeeds. What separates those whose visions culminate in viable businesses from those whose hopes and dreams crumble is perhaps the ability to dream realistically. Hint: it has to do with memoir business strategies (more…)

Develop a Full-Service Product Line For an Up-Sell and Cross-Sell Strategy

It will be hard for you to generate an attractive income without a diversified, full-service product line to offer to the public—especially to existing customers. Existing clients are easier, cheaper to sell to than new customers. They already trust you and have seen your track record. Providing they have further needs, they will buy from you over someone else—of course, to get the additional sale, you must have additional products to sell. (They will not buy the same product—again!) (more…)

Paying Yourself Will Grow Your Business: Five Steps 

Editor’s Note: This article—Paying Yourself Will Grow Your Businesswas first published on September 26, 2018, in a slightly different form.

Perhaps this post is for new Memoir Professionals—but not necessarily. It’s for everyone who does not yet believe that paying yourself will grow your business.

It’s about growing a vision of yourself by creating your habits. It’s about learning to accept a certain reality.

As you begin working for yourself, it may seem like you will never earn any money. You can slip into believing “I can’t earn money doing memoir work.”

In this post, I will help you to begin to act as if paying yourself will grow your business. It really will. To show you how this is so, I’ll ask you to play a little game with me, a little game that will have big results. This game will stimulate your business growth.

“But, I don’t have money to pay myself!” you persist in decrying.

But you do! Let me show you a strategy. It will work to get you to think in terms of paying yourself weekly.

Part of Business Development is to Pay Yourself

There’s no denying that your business has got to support you. Your business has got to be how you earn your income. Paying yourself will grow your business. Here are steps to doing this.

1. How much income do you want to earn in the next 12 months? Add to that net income a guesstimate of what your expenses and your taxes will likely be. That total figure will be your necessary projected gross income for the next year. Just say you want to earn $800/week and you guess-timate your expenses are $200/week (taxes, Social Security, printer toner, etc.) This adds up to $1000/week.

2. The non-salary expenses have to be provided for. They don’t occur every week but they do occur over time. They are not negotiable. Put aside enough money to be able to pay for these. I am not writing about these expenses in this post.

3. Now, take the figure that is your desired net weekly income (what you will take home) which I listed above as $800. This is the weekly personal income your business owes you—yes, I wrote “owes you,” the income you have agreed (with yourself!) to work for.


I hear you. You may not have $800 in your business bank account to meet your entire projected income figure week after week, but you did produce some income this week (let’s say). Trust me: paying yourself will grow your business

4. To imprint the habit of paying yourself weekly, go through the motions anyway—this is a sort of game that can bring high dividends. This is what you’ll do: Go on your bank’s internet site and from your personal account, transfer the amount you need to meet the balance of your weekly net income. Your business account will receive an infusion from your personal account. (You may even have to go to your Overdraft Protection for this.) This process will create a figure amounting to $800 in your business bank account.

5. Then, transfer your desired weekly income payment ($800) to your personal account. Voilà, you have just paid yourself—symbolically, if not really. Pay yourself weekly. Paying yourself will grow your business and become a habit of paying yourself.

How paying yourself will grow your business

What you transferred is not real income, of course, but this process can imprint two things in your your mind

  • what your weekly deficits are that are keeping you from your income goal, and
  • how you must take massive action to remedy your deficit. This deficit cannot continue indefinitely!
    • How about making those cold calls to prospective workshop clients to boost your upcoming enrollment? Call co-authoring queries to close the sale.
    • Write to people who owe you money to request their payment.

Make yourself take massive action. Remember: your weekly salary will be due again next week. There has to come a time when you naturally have enough money in your business account.

This game is great for implanting the habit of paying yourself but it does not solve the money problem!

I hope this will impel you to focus on:

  • billable time,
  • efficient use of time (e.g., not talking longer on the phone than necessary), 
  • income-producing projects in the short term and passing on “creative” projects that probably will not change your income. (Do you really need a new logo?)
  • etc.

In short, you will begin to “chase the money” which is a primary goal of any business, of your business.

Remember: set up a regular day to make the salary transfer again and again. 

This is a business.

This is not a hobby you are engaged in. It is a business. A business owner must learn to produce wealth.

If you need help with this sort of strategic planning or if you have failed to plan for where you will be in 12 months and how you will spend your time while in the office, you OWE IT TO YOURSELF to sign up for individual business coaching.

In conclusion to “Paying Yourself Will Grow Your Business”

What tips or advice can you share for a successful memoir business? Do you follow a strategic plan for your business?

Have you dreamed of starting a full-time, memoir-writing business or possibly a sideline business? You don’t have to wing it. Click here to download your FREE Jump Start Your Memoir Business book now.

You can learn to write better, deeper memoir and to write more quickly and with more satisfaction. The Memorable Story/Write Your First Memoir Draft  today.

Join us on LinkedIn in the MBA: Memoir Business Accelerator group. For Memoir Professionals seeking predictable, solid success. The MBA group was created for memoir professionals—whether involved as teacher, coach, editor, ghostwriter, publisher, scrapbooker, film maker, audio producer—to share information that will enhance their experience or that of their clients. The focus of the MBA will be to generate professionalism, promote profitability and encourage co-operation.

Manage Workflow—How to Work With Multiple Clients

How do you manage workflow as you attempt to deliver to multiple clients in your memoir-based writing business?

If a full schedule is just a pipe dream now, this information will be useful even if you have only one, two or three clients.

Your company will eventually have multiple projects going on at the same time, each in various stages of production. How do you schedule multiple clients so that you manage workflow reasonably? (more…)

Set Goals When Starting Your Memoir Business—Work Smarter, Not Harder!

When starting your memoir business, you need to set goals from the start. Working hard is not sufficient for business growth. Like most entrepreneurs, people who are launching a memoir business are sometimes prone to working harder and not necessarily smarter. One smart strategy to use to grow is to set goals for specific time periods: the year, the month, the week, the day. A company needs these goals to focus on if it is to grow. (more…)

How To Target Your Memoir Earnings – Your Hourly Income Is Less Than You Think!

A constant complain I hear from Memoir Professionals is that they believe they can’t earn a living from memoir work. “Your problem is,” I tell them, “you do not target your memoir earnings.”

This is true if you treat your work as a hobby, but it clearly not true if you treat your memoir work as a business. A starting point is to chart how much you earn in the time you devote to working. All businesses must turn profits! As a business owner, you must target your memoir earnings.

Do you know what your actual hourly wage is and how to improve that figure? The fact is many—and perhaps most—Memoir Professionals have no idea how much they are making per hour not much about how to improve that income. Do you?

To Better Target Your Memoir Earnings, Let’s Look At The Numbers.


Increase Your Income by Asking the Right Questions

Here’s a sure way to increase your income for your memoir business.

Break your quarterly strategy plan into weekly units. What do you need to do this week in order to meet your monthly, quarterly and annual financial goals?

Take these weekly strategic goals and combine them with your weekly and daily “to do” list. A weekly strategic goal might be to revamp a part of your website. A daily “to do” might include answering a specific e-mail or calling the electric company about a bill. (more…)